Monday, April 27, 2009
Seaweed Salad Recipe
Finally, a seaweed salad like they make at the Powerhouse restaurant! It's something I've always wanted to make, but the seaweed part intimidated me. To make seaweed salad it seemed I needed to know which seaweed to pick, how to dry them, and then I needed to find a recipe. So I've been saying I'll pick my own seaweed and make a salad for years - only to never do it.
This past Saturday I decided to just wing it and try. Go on a guess and a whim so to speak. I've had the Powerhouse seaweed salad enough times now that I figured I could 'back' engineer the recipe.
So I took the dogs down to the beach to see what I could find on the rocks at low tide below the house here on Mill Bay. I picked a bunch of what I later determined to be ribbon kelp. I took it home and rinsed it in fresh water for about an hour. Then I dried it on an oven rack on the counter. I tried to dry some in the oven too - but this was a miserable failure. The stuff I put into vinegar turned into a sublime salad.
Here's how I did it:
1) I only picked the smallest ribbons of kelp that lacked the rib down the middle. I also snipped them off the plant rather than pulling the whole plant up - this way I did not kill the plant and depopulate Mill Bay of my new found garden greens supply.
2) I soaked the fronds in freshwater for about 45 minutes and changed the water once. At the end of the 45 minutes, I took all the fronds out and spread them out on a rack (Pictures 2 & 3).
3) I let the fronds air dry for an hour or so at room temperature and then cut them up into thin strips (as thin as I could cut). I saved time here by layering a bunch of fronds on top of each other and cutting them all at once.
4) I put all the strips into a non-reactive bowl and covered them with rice vinegar. Just enough vinegar to cover them. Then I put them in the fridge for 3 hours.
5) After 3 hours I poured off all the vinegar (I used a sieve) and then coated the seaweed strips with sesame oil. I used a tablespoon or so - a good hefty dose anyway. At first I could not find any sesame seeds in our cup board so I added some 'Aji Nori Furikake' that someone had left in our spice cabinet (perhaps a tablespoon or so). It appears to be a mix of ground up seaweed, salt, sugar, bonito extract, and sesame seeds. I also finally found the plain sesame seeds and added a bunch of those too. I guess since it all depends how much seaweed you pick that I should just say that seasoning 'is to taste'.
6) Then I stirred it all up and ate it (top picture). Zoya was impressed with it too. And I must say it actually tastes fresher than what they make at the powerhouse. And hey, it's free for the picking! Patrick